In the first round of immunisation programme, Mission Indradhanush, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has fully immunised at least 1,560 kids. In first round of programme, held between April 7 and 15, at least 9,650 children were identified as non-immunised, of which 66% (i.e. 6,355) children have been given immunisation.
The wards which were covered during the drive were F north, K west and Kurla.
BMC has identified 564 health posts in dire need of a complete immunisation programme and has decided to flag off its second round between May 8 and 16.
These health posts are identified in urban slum localities where prevalence of a migrated population is high, construction sites, forests, and undeveloped and isolated areas.
Mission Indradhanush aims to cover children who are either unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated against eleven vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020. These vaccine-preventable diseases are diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, childhood tuberculosis, polio, hepatitis B and measles. In addition to this, vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and haemophilus influenza type B will also be administered.
Mission Indradhanush was launched by the Union Health Ministry on 25 December 2014. During the first three phases, 28.7 lakh immunisation sessions have been held, which reached out to over 2.1 crore children and 55 lakh of them have been fully immunised.
“As a part of the initiative, which is being termed as the phase-IV of the programme, the government aims to vaccinate those children who were missed out during routine vaccination or in earlier phases. When a child clears all four rounds, the child becomes fully immunised,” said Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC.
In the second round, children from birth to five years of age, who have not been vaccinated, will be identified by the ASHAs and frontline workers. They will inspect the identified 564 spots and apart from neighbourhood child, children of migrants, houseless families, will be questioned whether their child has been vaccinated or not.
“This plan will ensure that children who missed vaccination earlier are covered in this round,” said Keskar.
However, for the corporation, the main challenge will be reaching out to the migrants.
“Migration is the biggest issue in process of immunisation drive as it is difficult to track their kids as they keep moving from one place to another. These children are usually affected by disease such as Hepatitis B and Measles. So, it’s important to track down these children. This is the reason why we have four rounds, where an identification of a particular non-vaccinated child will be possible at least in one of the rounds,” added Keskar.
For all the four rounds, the central government has provided Rs99 lakh. No extra workforce is involved in this vaccination drive. Along with their routine camps, the BMC is also organising extra-field camps.